AICHI (TR) – On the tenth anniversary of the murder of a 15-year-old girl in Toyota City, Aichi Prefectural Police last week renewed a call to the public for help in solving the case, reports the Nikkei Shimbun (May 2)
On the morning of May 3, 2008, the body of high school student Manami Shimizu was found with black tape around her neck in a rice paddy in the town of Ikoma near her home. The cause of death was ruled as suffocation. The case remains unsolved.
This past May 2, officers handed out about 5,000 information sheets with a request for persons with information on the case to come forward at seven locations, including a railway station and near where her body was found.
Police believe that a perpetrator killed Shimizu and stole her bag as she commuted home from soccer practice at her school, which is affiliated with Aichi University of Education, on the night the day before her body was found.
According to police, an eyewitness reported seeing a black SUV near the crime scene at around 6:30 p.m. on May 2, 2008. The month before, a similar-looking vehicle was also seen in that area on several occasions.
“Brutal and malicious”
Tetsuya Kojima, the chief of the Toyota Police Station, said, “It was a brutal and malicious crime that deprived her of a future. The perpetrator must be arrested at all costs. We are interested in even the most minor information.”
The National Police Agency is offering a reward of 3 million yen for information leading to the solution of the case. Thus far, police have received 1,400 tips from the public. However, the number is steadily decreasing. This year, the figure stands at only four.
Persons with information on the case are advised to call the special investigation headquarters of the Toyota Police Station at 0120-400-538.